Tuesday, November 5 is Election Day. While this is the first time in many decades that I am not running for an office, you can be sure that as a citizen of the greatest nation on Earth, I will exercise my right to vote Tuesday. I hope that you will exercise this basic right and take time to vote as well.
I cannot overstate the importance of our right to vote. It is part of the essential fabric of our nation, a founding principle which helps to make the United States the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is our opportunity to choose the leaders of our nation, state, and local municipalities.
Some people choose to vote only for the big elections – presidential or gubernatorial. But, let me remind you that your participation is important for each and every election because Election Day is your opportunity to select the people that you want to make decisions on your behalf and set policies for your community at all levels of government. Take some time to get to know your candidates, do some research, and make an educated decision at the poll. And, remember, it’s your private decision – and yours alone – another benefit that makes our nation great.
Keep in mind that if you do not exercise your right to vote, you are forfeiting an opportunity to have your voice heard. You are giving up the chance to weigh in on who you want to represent you and have a say in how you want your government to operate.
If you’re looking for more information about the upcoming election, be sure to check out the Board of Elections pages on the County website at www.orangecountygov.com. On the Board of Election pages you can review a sample general election ballot, review the list of general election candidates, take a look at the NYS ballot proposals, double-check your polling place, and a great deal more. There’s even a tutorial video on how to use the new voting system.
This Election Day, New Yorkers also will have an opportunity to create thousands of good paying and stable jobs across the state by voting YES on Proposition 1 to bring gaming and resort casinos to New York State. If approved by voters, Prop 1 will bring an estimated $4 - $6 billion in construction costs, thousands of jobs, and many millions of dollars in local and state revenue to New York. If approved, we will realize benefits right here in Orange County as well with a projected estimate of an additional $10.4 million in property tax, school, and local government aid.
As counties across New York State continue to struggle to balance budgets and deal with the rising costs of delivering essential services, this additional aid would be a tremendous help. I urge all Orange County residents to support Proposition 1 with a YES vote at the polls.
In closing this week, let me share this thought from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."
Until next week, wishing you good health and happiness.